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Quick Hits: Burrow Sees Red In First Practice; Dunlap Gets D's First Two Picks; Phillips Taking Advantage of Reps; No Concerns As Taylor Conserves A.J. Green

Joe Burrow battled the elements and the Bengals defense in his first padded practice.
Quarterback Joe Burrow battling the elements in his first padded practice of training camp.

Wide receiver A.J. Green and some veterans weren't going to scrimmage on Friday anyway, so head coach Zac Taylor isn't concerned that Green sat out Tuesday's first padded practice with what he called "a little tightness," in the hamstring. Players are off Wednesday, so it can be assumed Green won't work Thursday, either, but he indicated he'd be back after the scrimmage.

"I know what he can do," said Taylor, who was impressed with Green's work in shells the previous two days …

Rookie quarterback Joe Burrow had a so-so day wearing pads for the first time since he won the national title with LSU back in January

The Bengals offense worked in the red zone and his day was typified in his 6-for-12 passing in seven-on-seven and a downpour that marred his final few snaps in 11-on-11.

"It was OK. It wasn't what you'd like to see on a red zone day, but it was the first one," Burrow said. "It started raining a little bit. Obviously I'd like to play better than I did and I know as an offense we'd like to play better than we did."

Burrow did lose a snap, but he also found tight end Drew Sample for a touchdown

In seven-on-seven he did find wide receiver Tyler Boyd three times for touchdowns, one on vintage Burrow improvisation after the play broke down. He also hit veteran wide receiver Michael Thomas for a touchdown over the middle.

"Red zone always feels faster than (the) open field. Today was our red zone day and so that was my first taste of NFL red zone," Burrow said. "I'm going to hopefully play better the next time we do red zone. I played really well the last two days, so I'm going to really focus on the red zone." …

Taylor wants more consistency from his offense

("The defense beat us in the red zone today,"), but he has noticed the defense is playing with more of an edge than last season. That's a big reason they picked up Saints free safety Vonn Bell and after he popped running back Giovani Bernard in the open field in seven-on-seven, Taylor had a talk with him and told him to take a shot at safeties coach Rob Livingston instead.

"It is," Taylor said when asked if it feels saltier on that side of the ball. "It's competitive. It's nothing personal. Guys are going after each other because they like to compete. And there's just some frustration on some plays. When the offense gives up a play that they shouldn't have given up or the defense gives up a play, it means something to the guys. They're upset about it. And sometimes they take out their physical aggression. I told Vonn, 'Just take it out on your position coach.' Rob can coach in a sling. But don't take it out on Gio. But those guys are good about it. They know they're trying to protect each other. But it's been competitive for three days, that's for sure."

Veteran safety Shawn Williams was carted off the field during position drills

Taylor had no update on his situation or on that of nose tackle Renell Wren after he was carted off Monday…He also couldn't say if cornerback Trae Waynes would be back before the end of the season after surgery for his pectoral injury. Taylor did say because Wayne just signed this March and hasn't been around his teammates very long, he wants him to re-join the team when he can

It seems like third-year cornerback Darius Phillips is getting the first chance to replace Waynes

And he's appeared to pick up where he left off. He had two interceptions in last year's finale and led the team with four interceptions in barely 100 snaps.

"I think Darius has been off to a good start here in training camp," Taylor said. "He obviously has made the big splash plays in the opportunities he got last year now it's just consistency from down to down. That's what we expect to see from him. He's off to a solid start here. I've been pleased with some of the things we've seen him do.

"He's got a great feel for the ball. He's not afraid to be physical. He's got a good knack when the ball is in there air of getting his hand on it." …

But the DBs are still behind 11-year left end Carlos Dunlap after his two-pick day on Tuesday

One came off of backup quarterback Ryan Finley in seven-on-seven when he dropped into coverage and undercut a short route over the middle. Then in 11-on-11 he made a diving catch on Burrow's pass right end Sam Hubbard batted at the line.